Fantasy Baseball SP Roundup: Introducing bVAL

Nick Pollack reviews every starting pitcher performance from Tuesday.

Welcome to the SP Roundup, my daily fantasy baseball article reviewing every starting pitcher’s performance from every Tuesday game. I apologize for the jokes written in my delirium in advance. Have questions? Ask me during my office hours on Playback.tv weekday mornings from 10 am-12 pm ET.

Valente Bellozo (MIA) vs BOS (L) – 5.0 IP, 5 ER, 7 Hits, 1 BBs, 8 Ks – 12 Whiffs, 31% CSW, 98 pitches.

It’s not common to lead with a poor performance from an unknown pitcher, but here we are with Valente Bellozo after returning 5.0 IP, 5 ER, 7 Hits, 1 BBs, 8 Ks – 12 Whiffs, 31% CSW, 98 pitches against the Red Sox. Wait, eight strikeouts?! That’s why we’re here.

And I’m not around for long. Or maybe this is the first thing you read before everything else and in that case, sit down and chill, yo. With Bellozo, he throws low 90s heaters with decent changeups and cutters that somehow led to eight strikeouts. I’d say one of those was truly filthy (yes, a changeup down-and-away), while sneaky heaters and cutters + a middle-middle curve did the rest. That doesn’t sound impressive. Because it isn’t. Bellozo, despite his lovely foot tap before driving toward the plate, is not destined for more than a strikeout per inning moving forward, let alone hitting that mark on the nose. I’d be shocked if he even earns eight strikeouts in his next two starts combined. If you were thinking about taking a shot against the CrySox, I’d re-eValuate and ask if you truly need to take the chance. It’s not out of the question, but this ain’t it in my book.


Let’s see how every other SP did Tuesday:


Nathan Eovaldi (TEX) vs SDP (W) – 7.0 IP, 0 ER, 1 Hits, 0 BBs, 6 Ks – 7 Whiffs, 26% CSW, 92 pitches.

I gotta say, it’s awfully nice to get a glimpse of peak 2023 Eovaldi once again. He even had the 95 mph heater! Yes, the depressed heater without a single cutter whiff, finding its way through seven scoreless. What a dude.

Grayson Rodriguez (BAL) @ SEA (W) – 6.1 IP, 0 ER, 2 Hits, 4 BBs, 8 Ks – 19 Whiffs, 32% CSW, 104 pitches.

Aces gonna ace and IT’S ABOUT DANG TIME YOU GOT YOUR CHANGEUP DOWN. Yeeeeesh, I’ve been waiting a year to see a start like this one and what’s the result? Oh I don’t know, earn a Gallows Pole and go 9/28 whiffs with a 43% CSW on the slowball. If the heaters and breakers had any of the same command, it would have been a perfect game. There’s so much potential here and I’m glad we’re starting to see more of it slip out. HOT DANG I’ve been waiting to see that pitch consistently spotted. It’s so dang good.

Zack Littell (TBR) @ KCR (W) – 5.0 IP, 0 ER, 4 Hits, 0 BBs, 4 Ks – 8 Whiffs, 34% CSW, 68 pitches.

We’ll take that to the bank. Nothing new here – sliders for strikes, decent splitters, four-seamers that managed to avoid balls in play – and he remains a decent 15-teamer stream against the Rangers next, but just a desperate stream for 12-teamers in my view – the ceiling is too low.

Sean Manaea (NYM) @ WSN (ND) – 7.0 IP, 1 ER, 5 Hits, 2 BBs, 5 Ks – 9 Whiffs, 27% CSW, 97 pitches.

Beautiful work, Manaea. Nothing ridiculous here with sinkers over the plate + some cutters & sliders off the edge, but it was enough to go seven strong. That lowers his ERA to just 3.67 this season and I have to give props not just to him, but to fantasy managers who stuck with this. I’ve had my concerns, and he’s come through more often than I expected. I guess we’re going with the Pirates + Rockie Road ahead, right?

Kutter Crawford (BOS) @ MIA (W) – 6.0 IP, 1 ER, 3 Hits, 0 BBs, 7 Ks – 16 Whiffs, 46% CSW, 72 pitches.

Yesssss. Sure, Blame it on the Marlins but that’s a 46% CSW, y’all. The mightiest of King Cole awards you’ll find and a product of four-seamers living in the zone, cutters deftly spotted, and even some action with his splitter. It’s too bad he has to get the Yankees again, but outside of the Judge and Soto, is there really much to fear?

DJ Herz (WSN) vs NYM (ND) – 5.2 IP, 1 ER, 5 Hits, 0 BBs, 10 Ks – 16 Whiffs, 38% CSW, 92 pitches.

Just when I gave up, he brought us back in. This was BSB to an SNEll with his changeup coming in three ticks harder for a 67% strike rate, living down and in town, while his cutter produced a whopping 45% CSW across 20 thrown. Both secondaries opened up the top of the zone for the four-seamer to soar at 9/43 whiffs and 42% CSW and you wonder why I was so against him before. Well maybe because his command was terrible and his secondaries were nothing like this. Oh well that makes sense. I guess we’re taking a shot once again in a date against the Cardinals…I think. Maybe. Go with your gut.

Mitch Spence (OAK) vs LAA (W) – 5.1 IP, 1 ER, 6 Hits, 1 BBs, 5 Ks – 9 Whiffs, 21% CSW, 94 pitches.

He’s not going to wow you, but he will earn you a Win here and there across ~5 innings of cutters and sliders over the plate. The man knows what he does well and leans into it. Does that include surviving against the Orioles? Likely not, no. I’d get off the Spence train for that one.

Brady Singer (KCR) vs TBR (L) – 5.0 IP, 1 ER, 3 Hits, 3 BBs, 4 Ks – 15 Whiffs, 32% CSW, 88 pitches.

Kinda boring for Singer, but whatever. This helps. Thanks for not being the Bomb of Cherry Bomb. Now please stop trying to make the four-seamer a thing. 2/10 strikes should really be enough to say “Hmmmm, maybe I should try something else.”

Ryan Feltner (COL) vs MIL (ND) – 5.0 IP, 1 ER, 6 Hits, 2 BBs, 3 Ks – 7 Whiffs, 29% CSW, 83 pitches.

Ayyyy, nice work Feltner! I’m glad you were able to celebrate a Birthday Party this year.

Michael Mercado (PHI) @ CHC (W) – 5.0 IP, 1 ER, 2 Hits, 2 BBs, 4 Ks – 10 Whiffs, 28% CSW, 78 pitches.

Hot dang, look at you! Mercado has been given a shot in the Phillies rotation after the whole Taijuan/Turnbull debacle and he made the most of it with plenty of curveball and cutter strikes to pair with his solid 95 mph and 16″+ iVB four-seamer inside the zone. I kinda love that cutter when he can get it down at the knees and below the zone (he did it rarely), and the heater certainly has its moments, including firing it 97 mph for a strikeout down the pipe. Keep an eye on him, I like him more than I expected as a solid arm who throws strikes, but I’m not sold that he’ll excel against Atlanta. He needs to be a little more aggressive to chase a whiff outside the zone to come through there.

Joe Mantiply (ARI) @ LAD (ND) – 0.2 IP, 1 ER, 1 Hits, 0 BBs, 0 Ks – 0 Whiffs, 9% CSW, 11 pitches.

Nah, this was actually Ryne Nelson who performed super well given the situation – 5.0 IP, 1 ER, 6 Hits, 1 BBs, 3 Ks – 6 Whiffs, 18% CSW, 78 pitches. Okay, that CSW is an atrocity and the four-seamer/cutter tandem has a whole lot of work to do, but 1 ER against the Dodgers? That’s a massive dub for Nelson.

George Kirby (SEA) vs BAL (L) – 6.1 IP, 2 ER, 7 Hits, 1 BBs, 5 Ks – 14 Whiffs, 26% CSW, 95 pitches.

Aces gonna earn 11 four-seamer whiffs and feature a ton of sliders and curveballs underneath. I am SO here for this version of Kirby and I’m kinda shocked he didn’t earn more strikeouts. Strap in, y’all. That curve is here and inducing fear. The dopeness starts here.

Dallas Keuchel (MIL) @ COL (ND) – 5.1 IP, 2 ER, 4 Hits, 2 BBs, 5 Ks – 8 Whiffs, 23% CSW, 78 pitches.

Wat. I mean, I guess this has to be the Gold Star, right? I can actually understand Feltner finding a nut in the winter of Coors, but Keuchel? Who actually executed sinkers and changeups along the edges? Unreal.

Hayden Birdsong (SFG) @ ATL (W) – 5.0 IP, 2 ER, 4 Hits, 2 BBs, 5 Ks – 11 Whiffs, 29% CSW, 87 pitches.

Hmmmm. Birdsong leaned heavily into locating his four-seamer upstairs, which led to just a 51% strike rate and 3/43 whiffs on the pitch. Fortunately, his slider did a ton of work at a 63% zone rate, creating outs and earning an 83% strike rate. Maybe that’s the life he lives moving forward, but I really didn’t love those sliders in the heart of the zone. I figure the book will be out on him quickly if that’s his plan of action, forcing him to do better than 58% strikes on his changeups. I really have to add that so many of those heaters tonight were absolutely terrible. I’m not a huge believer here and would avoid him in Cleveland next.

Bobby Miller (LAD) vs ARI (ND) – 5.0 IP, 2 ER, 4 Hits, 3 BBs, 4 Ks – 10 Whiffs, 23% CSW, 90 pitches.

We have good news and bad news. Good news: He actually had a four-seamer-focused approach and it carried a strong 15% SwStr across 51% usage, fueled by 96/97 mph velocity, nearly 7.0 feet of extension, and average iVB and decent HAVAA (that is 1.5 ticks down in velocity though…). Then what’s the bad news? Everything else was blegh. And that velocity was down. You already said that. IT’S WORTH REPEATING. I’m glad he didn’t get shelled, but I’m gonna bench him against the Phillies. It just feels wrong to chance this before we see Sir Dopeness arrive once again.

Reynaldo López (ATL) vs SFG (ND) – 4.1 IP, 2 ER, 4 Hits, 4 BBs, 6 Ks – 11 Whiffs, 30% CSW, 101 pitches.

Blegh. At least it was just two runs allowed, but a putrid 16/34 strike rate on his slider (sub 50%!) is why you see the laborious line above – he spiked that pitch far too many times. Expect better in the future.

Tarik Skubal (DET) @ MIN (ND) – 6.0 IP, 3 ER, 4 Hits, 1 BBs, 7 Ks – 14 Whiffs, 29% CSW, 94 pitches.

Aces gonna PQS despite having his classic changeup. Well, save for that one to Margot that left the yard. That one was vintage from middle school.

Carlos Carrasco (CLE) vs CHW (ND) – 6.0 IP, 3 ER, 4 Hits, 1 BBs, 7 Ks – 10 Whiffs, 31% CSW, 70 pitches.

We’ll take this PQS all day. And seven strikeouts?! WHAT A LIFE. The sinker was well spotted armside + sliders dominated over the plate + 5/11 changeup whiffs for good measure, though a pair of HRs still messed him up. As much as I want to have fun and chance it against the Giants and Rays, you really shouldn’t tempt fate like that.

Chris Flexen (CHW) @ CLE (ND) – 6.0 IP, 3 ER, 6 Hits, 1 BBs, 3 Ks – 13 Whiffs, 26% CSW, 101 pitches.

A PQS is always a positive for Flexen, who survived the HR-heavy Cleveland park (despite giving up two longballs). The change, curve, and slider weren’t special, but the cutter was and there’s always a chance when that cutter is working. Flexen at the beach…bathroom mirror.

Simeon Woods Richardson (MIN) vs DET (ND) – 5.2 IP, 3 ER, 4 Hits, 2 BBs, 4 Ks – 9 Whiffs, 31% CSW, 94 pitches.

That’s a tough Philly for SWR, who allowed a pair of HRs despite nailing a ton of his sliders along the gloveside edge and spotting four-seamers generally well. Just one of those slider mistakes is all it takes…And a changeup. And a changeup…I still dislike the lack of pronounced ceiling inside Simeon’s stuff to allure me into rostering him and with the Astros up next, I’d turn to something else.

Graham Ashcraft (CIN) @ NYY (W) – 5.0 IP, 3 ER, 4 Hits, 2 BBs, 3 Ks – 10 Whiffs, 27% CSW, 78 pitches.

Hey, that ain’t so bad and you got a Win. Way to get the cutter “not up” this time around, but this is a Dusty Donut as the only real positive is the dub. You deserve something fresh.

Kyle Gibson (STL) @ PIT (W) – 5.0 IP, 4 ER, 5 Hits, 1 BBs, 8 Ks – 11 Whiffs, 37% CSW, 79 pitches.

A fifth that included both a three-run shot & solo bomb turned what was a strong outing into a stubbed toe, but at least you got a dub and eight strikeouts. That sweeper is still cookin’ and I’d keep it going against the Nationals.

Luis Gil (NYY) vs CIN (L) – 4.0 IP, 4 ER, 2 Hits, 3 BBs, 3 Ks – 7 Whiffs, 28% CSW, 83 pitches.

Bleeeegh. Uhhh, has anyone seen where Gil’s four-seamer iVB went? The pitch had solid vertical movement at 16″+, even at 17″ at times, and has returned sub 15″ against the Mets and now a second time against the Reds. Why does that matter? Well, it means the pitch went just 1/37 whiffs as it couldn’t put away batters. Oh. That’s bad. In fact, the changeup and slider weren’t terrible, and Gil’s overall control was alright, he simply didn’t have the same stuff he normally has. Again. I’m a little worried about it – that iVB has been trending down for longer than I realized (about three weeks or so) – and all we can do is hope it returns against the Red Sox next time out.

José Soriano (LAA) @ OAK (L) – 4.0 IP, 4 ER, 3 Hits, 1 BBs, 4 Ks – 6 Whiffs, 31% CSW, 62 pitches.

He’s back from the IL and was limited to just 62 pitches while allowing two blasts in the fourth and made the Athletics fully efficient with their baserunners. Good for them. I’d wait one more before grabbing Soriano again, hoping to steal a stream against the Mariners in ten days before the All-Star break.

José Berríos (TOR) vs HOU (W) – 5.0 IP, 5 ER, 5 Hits, 2 BBs, 1 Ks – 2 Whiffs, 17% CSW, 60 pitches.

Sooooo, when do we get serious about dropping Berríos? Last week. Ah. Yeah, that seems about right. I mean, just one strikeout and two whiffs?! HAISTBMBWT?! However, he does get the Mariners next time out. Maybe just one more chance? He is The Great Undulator, after all. Like a reversible jacket, that goes both ways.

Hayden Wesneski (CHC) vs PHI (L) – 5.0 IP, 5 ER, 5 Hits, 3 BBs, 7 Ks – 17 Whiffs, 34% CSW, 89 pitches.

The sweeper was dope – 10/35 whiffs! – but I don’t like his heaters as they allowed all five hits today, including a pair of longballs. The cutter is a solid complement, though, and if Wesneski can lean into sweeper/cutter more (and not throw so many heaters comfortably over the plate), then there could be something here. Not a bad idea to chase his next outing against the Angels just based on 17 whiffs and a 34% CSW.

Mitch Keller (PIT) vs STL (L) – 5.0 IP, 5 ER, 9 Hits, 0 BBs, 5 Ks – 12 Whiffs, 33% CSW, 99 pitches.

Ouch. This one didn’t have nearly the same precision as his previous outings and we have to start wondering if Keller is in the decline phase of the season. That’s two duds in three games with a dance against Grimace ahead. Good luck.

Spencer Arrighetti (HOU) @ TOR (L) – 4.0 IP, 6 ER, 6 Hits, 4 BBs, 5 Ks – 6 Whiffs, 22% CSW, 89 pitches.

Despite throwing even harder at 95 mph and with a ridiculous 2.0 HAVAA, Arrighetti returned 1/42 four-seamer whiffs with a pair of HRs allowed. It’s just not fair, y’all.

Dylan Cease (SDP) @ TEX (L) – 3.2 IP, 6 ER, 8 Hits, 2 BBs, 5 Ks – 9 Whiffs, 23% CSW, 84 pitches.

Welp, that’s not a fun time. The four-seamer went just 21% CSW and he really needs that cutter. I’ll continue to bang on the table until the thing arrives, but since he allowed a longball on the thing, it’s been tucked away for another time. Just give it a shot, Dylan. Why try the mediocre curve and sweeper and change instead? Those aren’t the answer, a cutter is. BELIEVE IN THE CUTTER. Why won’t anyone think of the cutters?! Ahem. For those of you rostering Cease, this volatility is par for the course and he generally picks it back up, possibly as soon as the following outing. Don’t overthink it.


Game of the Day


Erick Fedde vs. Gavin Williams – Dance Gavin! Dance! Get excited to be back on the field.

But Nick?! Where are the streaming picks? – I’ve moved them to the daily SP Matchups & Streamer Rankings article.

Have Questions? – Join my morning Playback.tv livestream! I answer all questions there for free: 10:00 am – 12:00 pm ET Monday through Friday.

Featured image by Justin Paradis (@JustParaDesigns on Twitter)

Nick Pollack

Founder of Pitcher List. Creator of CSW, The List, and SP Roundup. Worked with MSG, FanGraphs, CBS Sports, and Washington Post. Former college pitcher, travel coach, pitching coach, and Brandeis alum. Wants every pitcher to be dope.

2 responses to “Fantasy Baseball SP Roundup: Introducing bVAL”

  1. Babbo B says:

    Actually a step down for Nelson, who went five scoreless last time he faced the Dodgers (also following an opener) on May 22. But hey, who’s complaining?

  2. @Hayesfawcett3 says:

    I recommend this spell caster..


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